NMS-58786B: Middle Saxon gold and garnet brooch mount

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
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Unique ID: NMS-58786B

Object type certainty: Possibly
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A circular gold and garnet setting, possibly from a brooch, pendant or another piece of jewellery. The setting comprises a gold collar made from an upright strip of gold surrounded by three strands of gold beaded wire, the central strand perhaps slightly larger than the others. The beading shows some signs of wear. The gold strip is partially folded underneath the gem, which is probably a garnet. It is cabochon cut with a flat top and an annulet drilled into its centre, now empty but once perhaps inlaid with another material (see Discussion). The back of the gem is dished. It is largely intact with a few minor chips.


This artefact is likely to have been attached to a larger piece of jewellery dating to the seventh century. A growing number of gold-and-garnet settings have been discovered as stray finds in recent years and are recorded on the PAS database. The technique used in cutting the garnet on this particular example compares well to the central setting on the Holderness Cross pendant (PAS database YORYM214, now in the Ashmolean Museum), which has a similar flat-topped cabochon shape and an empty central annulet. The annulet may have originally contained gold, as observed in a number of cases on Anglo-Saxon jewellery (Coatsworth and Pinder 2002, pp. 146-7) or glass in a contrasting colour, as on the central setting on a composite plated disc brooch from Kingston Down, Kent (World Museum, Liverpool M.6244; Avent 1975, no. 166). The flat-topped shape and dished reverse is paralleled in a setting from the Bersted area, West Sussex (PAS database SUSS-B6E917) described as probably being from a composite brooch or pendant. Most loose settings also have a sheet gold backplate, which is lacking on the present example.


Seventh century


The age and precious metal content of this object qualify it as potential Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.


Avent, R., 1975. Anglo-Saxon Garnet Inlaid Disc and Composite Brooches. British Archaeological Reports, British Series No. 11

Coatsworth, E. and Pinder, M., 2002. The Art of the Anglo-Saxon Goldsmith. Woodbridge: Boydell

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T455


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 600
Date to: Exactly AD 700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 5.9 mm
Diameter: 15.7 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 11th May 2017 - Thursday 11th May 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Julie Shoemark
Identified by: Miss Julie Shoemark

Other reference numbers

SMR reference number: 62132
Other reference: ENMD062017
Treasure case number: 2017T455

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Gem
Completeness: Uncertain

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Norfolk (County)
District: North Norfolk (District)
Parish or ward: Aylmerton (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TG1839
Four figure Latitude: 52.90419313
Four figure longitude: 1.24013863
1:25K map: TG1839
1:10K map: TG13NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMS
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 15 days ago

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